Monday, December 24, 2007

Let’s play a game

Let’s pretend the earth is on average much cooler than it is now.
Let’s say we were used to that.
And let’s say that people were worried that CO2 and other emissions were going to cause the world to warm up several degrees.

I wonder if it would sound something like this:

Sea levels will rise, causing us to lose thousands of square miles of coastline.

Large amounts of Florida and parts of southern AL, LA, & MS will become permanent swampland.

Some coastal cities such as New Orleans will require a massive system of dikes to keep out the sea.

Hawaii will shrink to 1/2 it’s size; thousands of people will be displaced as a certain percentage of the thousands of pacific islands disappear.

The Aleutian highway will disappear, leaving no land-transportation option between North America and Asia – trade will suffer as billions of dollars of goods currently trucked between those two areas must now be transported by ship or by air.

Large amounts of Mexico and much of Northern Africa will lose their forests; in some cases land may become completely devoid of plant life. As areas lose the vegetation that holds the soil in place, some scientists predict the creation of large areas – perhaps hundreds of thousands of square miles – of “desert”: arid land containing only large amounts of dust and shifting waves of sand.

The large forests of fir and spruce that currently cover much of the USA and Northern Mexico will not survive in warmer weather. Some predict that other forms of plant life – such as currently grow near the equator – will replace them, but again, no one knows for sure. And what might New England look like when the magnificent forests of snow-covered conifers are replaced by warmer-weather deciduous trees? It’s not a pretty picture to contemplate.

Large portions of the American southwest – the “breadbasket of America” – will be so hot they will no longer be suitable for farmland; people say that perhaps Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Minnesota – even Alberta and Saskatchewan -- will be usable for farmland, but there’s no guarantee of that.

Temperatures will fluctuate wildly with the seasons; some areas will experience dramatic snowfall in the winter, yet get as hot as 90F+ during the summer; the only comfortable periods in these areas will be during the spring and fall.

Thunderstorms (with their attendant lightning danger) may become commonplace occurrences in much of the USA. Flooding will be a danger in many areas.

No longer will hurricanes be a freak occurrence; some predict a “season of hurricanes” in and around the Gulf of Mexico, with as many as 10 or 20 large tropical storms occurring EVERY YEAR, some of which will certainly threaten populated areas.

No one is sure if the ocean can sustain plant and animal life at the new warmer temperature.

Surely we must do everything we can to avoid such a catastrophic situation as described above.

You get the point. But just to clarify: I’m not saying global warming isn’t happening, or that we shouldn’t take steps to reduce our contribution to it. What I object to is your automatically treatin’ me as an inferior the doomsday drama and breathless panic that sometimes accompanies this issue. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling, and I’m the one who knows about it and you are stupid because you’re not listening.”

But the world isn’t going away; it’s not going to be “destroyed”. It may well change in some ways we don’t like, but we’ll adapt. I don’t believe for a minute that a lot of people are going to die as a result. As far as I’m concerned, we should be worried about the economic impact of global warming, and not much else. A global recession worries me a heck of a lot more than losing beachfront. Just saying.


At Tue Dec 25, 06:41:00 PM PST, Blogger unca said...

Yes, and I don't see this global warming thing having a very big impact on the pennant race at all!

At Wed Dec 26, 04:01:00 PM PST, Blogger si said...

this post -- not totally in agreement. tho i don't think you're inferior (far from it).

At Wed Dec 26, 06:53:00 PM PST, Blogger unca said...

So, where's the game you promised in the title of this post?

At Wed Dec 26, 09:52:00 PM PST, Blogger jay aitch said...

Isn't it odd that a glass with ice cubes, I mean, when they melt, the water doesn't overflow the glass? Just wondering if there is any connection...


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